“The difference between good and evil men is not found in the acts they are willing to commit—but merely in what name they are willing to commit them in.”
With The Alloy of Law and Shadows of Self, Brandon Sanderson surprised readers with a New York Times bestselling spinoff of his Mistborn books, set after the action of the trilogy, in a period corresponding to late 19th-century America.
Now, with The Bands of Mourning, Sanderson continues the story. The Bands of Mourning are the mythical metalminds owned by the Lord Ruler, said to grant anyone who wears them the powers that the Lord Ruler had at his command. Hardly anyone thinks they really exist. But now a kandra researcher has returned to Elendel with images that seem to depict the Bands, as well as writings in a language that no one can read. Waxillium Ladrian is recruited to travel south to the city of New Seran to investigate, and along the way he discovers hints that point to the true goals of his uncle Edwarn and the shadowy organization known as The Set.
Best Sanderson Book EVER! So Far! An action-packed, thriller, filled with suspense, love, regret, loss, and sadness, The Bands of Mourning will complete all your Brandon Sanderson desires. I can’t say much without spoiling all of this bok, so just GO READ THE BANDS OF MOURNING!
“If you had to shoot a man, society had already failed.”
“Which is what? Break things?”
“Break things,” Marasi said, “with style.”
“Anything more detailed than that?”
“Not dyin’ … today?”
“The definition of a lawman, Uncle, is easy,” Wax said, feeling blood from a dozen cuts trickle down his face. He lifted Suit by the front of his clothing, bringing him close. “He’s the man who takes the bullet so nobody else has to.”
“He grinned, then winked at her as the waiter finally stepped over. “You wanted—” the waiter began. “Liquor,” Wayne said. “Would you care to be a little more specific, sir?” “Lots of liquor.”
“She assumes,” Wax said, “that our detective style isn’t normally the punchy-punchy, stabby-stabby type.” “To be fair,” Wayne said, “it’s usually a more shooty-shooty, whacky-whacky type.”
“Of course I am,” Wax said. “This is my second marriage. I’m an old hand at the practice by now.” Wayne grinned. “Oh, is that how it works? ’Cuz in my experience, marryin’ is the one thing people seem to get worse at the more they do it. Well, that and bein’ alive.”
“Wayne held back a smile, tucking it into his pocket for later use.”
“The law is there to keep us from ruining everyone else’s ability to explore. Without law, there’s no freedom.”
“It was the same plan you always have,” Wax said. “The one where I get to be the decoy.”
“Ain’t my fault people like to shoot at you, mate,” Wayne said as they reached the coach. “You should be happy; you’re usin’ your talents, like me granners always said a man should do.”
“I’d rather not have ‘shootability’ be my talent.”
“Well, you gotta use what you have,” Wayne said, leaning against the side of the carriage as Cob the coachman opened the door for Wax. “Same reason I always have bits of rat in my stew.”
“How crazy is it?”
“Less crazy than tossing Wayne off a cliff.”
“Not a high bar, but all right. How do we start?”
“Afraid so,” Wax said, pulling the door closed. The carriage lurched into motion, and Steris leaned out the window, waving farewell to the poor innkeeper.
“Framed for murder!” Steris called to her. “It’s on page seventeen of the list I gave you! Try not to let them harass our servants too much when they arrive!”
“Now, what kinda talk is that?” he demanded. “You’ve given up? Is that how the Ascendant Warrior was? Huh?”
“No, in fact,” Marasi said. “She walked up to the man she wanted, slapped the book out of his hand, and kissed him.”
“See, there’s how it is!”
“Though the Ascendant Warrior also went on and murdered the woman Elend was planning to marry.”
“My … hat?” The elderly woman looked up at the oversized hat. The sides drooped magnificently, and the thing was festooned with flowers. Like, oodles of them. Silk, he figured, but they were really good replicas.
“You have a lady friend?” Aunt Gin asked. “You wish to give her the hat?”
“Nah,” Wayne said. “I need to wear it next time I’m an old lady.”
“The next time you what?” Aunt Gin grew pale, but that was probably on account of the fact that Wax went stomping by, wearing his full rusting mistcoat. That man never could figure out how to blend in.”
Her expression grew distant. “In this case, it’s not that I’m boring, it’s more that … I’m off. I’ve learned to fake being normal, but lists of prepared comments and jokes can only take me so far. People can sense that I’m not being authentic—that I don’t like the things they like or think the way they do. Sometimes it amazes me that people like Wayne, or even those kandra, can be so startlingly human when I feel so alien.”
He wished he could figure out how to keep her from saying things like that. He didn’t know the right words; every time he tried to argue the point, it only seemed to make her withdraw.”
“No, really. Those are armed soldiers. I can’t even fathom how I’d feel if I brought you in there and something happened. You need to stay out here.”
“It isn’t subject to—” Wax hesitated. “Wait. You’re all right with this?”
“Why wouldn’t I be?” she asked. “I barely have any sense of where to point a gun, and have hardly any capacity for sneaking—that’s really quite a scandalous talent if you think about it, Lord Waxillium. While I do believe that people tend to be safest when near you, riding into an enemy compound is stretching the issue. I’ll stay here.”
Wax grinned in the darkness. “Steris, you’re a gem.”
“What? Because I have a moderately healthy sense of self-preservation?”
“Let’s just say that out in the Roughs, I was accustomed to people always wanting to try things beyond their capacity. And they always seemed determined to do it right when it was the most dangerous.”
“Well, I shall endeavor to stay out of sight,” Steris said, “and not get captured.”
“I doubt you need to worry about that all the way out here.”
“Oh, I agree,” she said. “But that is the sort of statistical anomaly that plagues my life, so I’ll plan for it nonetheless.”
“Nah,” Wayne said, “too loud. I think we should do Spoiled Tomato.”
“Dangerous,” Wax said, shaking his head. “I’d have to do the placement just right, between the lit perimeter and the shadowed part near the walls.”
“You can do it. You make shots like that all the time. Plus, we got this shiny new metalmind, full o’ health waitin’ to be slurped up.”
“A mistake could ruin the whole infiltration, healing power or no,” Wax said. “I think we should do Duck Under Clouds instead.”
“You kiddin’?” Wayne said. “Didn’t you get shot last time we tried that?”
“Kinda,” Wax admitted.
MeLaan stared at them, baffled. “Duck under Clouds?”
“They get like this,” Marasi said, patting her on the shoulder. “Best not to listen too closely.”
“Tube Run,” Wayne said.
Wax hesitated. “… The hell is that?”
“Just made it up,” Wayne said, grinning. “It’s a nifty code name though, eh?”
“Not bad,” Wax admitted. “And what type of plan is it?”
“Same as Spoiled Tomato,” Wayne said.”
Marasi looked sharply back at her sister.
“Like the whole world has been upended,” Steris said, looking toward the ceiling. “Like the laws of nature and man no longer hold sway. They’re suddenly flexible, like a string given slack. We’re the spheres.… I love the idea that I can break out of it all—the expectations, the way I’m regarded, the way I regard myself—and soar.
“I saw it in his eyes, first. That hunger, that fire. And then I found it in myself. He’s a flame, Waxillium is, and fire can be shared. When I’m out here, when I’m with him, I burn, Marasi. It’s wonderful.”
Marasi’s jaw dropped, and she gawked at her sister. Had those words left Steris’s mouth? Careful, monotonous, boring Steris? She glanced toward Marasi and blushed.
“You actually love him, don’t you?” Marasi asked.
“Well, love is a strong emotion, one that requires careful deliberation to—”
“Yes.” She looked down at her notebook. “It’s foolish, isn’t it?”
“Of course it is,” Marasi said. “Love is always a foolish emotion. That’s what makes it work.”
Where to find the Lord Ruler’s Bands of Mourning
*If you are unaware, I have a video on how to use Indie Bound as a resource on how to find books
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